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Anderson Cooper Special Report

Back to Boston Moments of Impact News/Business. (2013) An examination of photos taken during the bombing at the Boston Marathon; interviews with photographers.

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  CNN    Anderson Cooper Special Report    Back to Boston Moments of Impact  News/Business.  (2013)  
   An examination of photos taken during the bombing at the...  

    May 18, 2013
    11:00 - 12:01am PDT  

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good evening. i'm anderson cooper. it's been over a month now since the deadly bombings here in boston and there's time now to reflect and really investigate what happened. tonight we focus on several iconic images from the terror attack and its aftermath. we'll meet the photographers who took the photos and meet the people in them to try to really understand that moment and how it's changed everything since. "ac 360's" randi kaye has our special report. >> to me there's something inherently powerful about the still image. it's a moment frozen in time. >> the images we'll always remember. of five days we can never
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forget. stories of a gravely wounded mother and daughter. >> who would think that she would have survived that? >> and a man instantly losing both legs. >> next thing you know, i hear fireworks and i'm on the ground. >> stories of heroism, of saving lives. and springing into action. >> couldn't really think of, okay, was this a terrorist? >> stories of unexpected moments. of a shootout and an unusual milk delivery. >> i didn't think anybody would believe me if i told the story. >> stories told by these photos. frame by frame. >> i could see the blood just coming out of her body. it was that horrific. i mean, it was just shocking at first to see and then for me to make my way in to it and decide
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what to shoot and not to shoot. i mean, this isn't the worst photo i've taken that day, but it's pretty bad. >> part of the american sports scene since 1897. >> i was with my mother, my father, and my aunt carmen. she was running in the marathon. she's my mom's sister and we're all very close, so we wanted to support her. >> we were tracking carmen through our cell phone as to where she was in the race. so when we knew she was getting close, we decided to, you know, go to the finish line. >> we weren't there more than seemed like 15 or 20 minutes before everything happened. >> it was just the loudest noise i have ever heard, so like from that second both my eardrums got
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blown out. >> as i recall seeing the people behind me getting pushed back from the blast and even sydney falling backwards and getting tossed back, and i kind of was pushed down. the smoke and debris and everything just went past me. everything became a gray cloud of dust. >> i just remember being sort of thrown, and i remember things hitting my face. i remember just trying to breathe. >> and by the time i turned back around, everybody who was in front of me was now on the ground. i turned around and there was nobody in front of me. i thought that, okay, where's my wife? and i just slowly looked down and i see her and her eyes are open, so i realize, all right, she's okay. she's okay. >> my first look at the scene of the bodies was over the fence
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and straight on. and i saw celeste. i guess time just stood still for a moment. >> i just looked down at my legs and i just saw blood and bone and i just immediately was like, no, no. like i couldn't -- i couldn't comprehend. it was sort of like a panicked feeling like i wanted to just change it. no, this couldn't have happened. no. >> she's bleeding, and her feet were literally almost totally separated from the rest of her body. you knew right away that there was no way they were going to be able to repair the damage. it was just too, too far gone, too catastrophic. i immediately just took off my belt and put it on one leg to try to stop the bleeding. >> you can see right there kevin's just tightening a belt on her. she's struggling to look up.
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i just feel so bad. i mean, i look at that and it's just -- it's not good. >> i had turned around after i put the belt on and just looked behind us and i couldn't see sydney at all. she was immediately lost to me, which was so scary. i have to just hope and trust that somebody has her and is taking care of her. >> do you feel like you had to make a decision that day between your wife and your daughter? >> yeah, of course, a little bit. although it was an easy decision because i was there with celeste and with her wounds. i wasn't about to leave her to go find sydney. because i knew we could get separated extremely quickly and easily. >> did you understand what was happening? >> i did. i did. and then i said, "is sydney okay?" and he said, "i think she is." and i didn't worry about her after that. i think i knew how gravely injured i was. and then i think then i asked my husband, "are my feet attached
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to my legs?" because i knew it was bad. and he said yes. so then i just remember sort of holding on to that and thinking, okay. i'm going to get to a hospital. i'm going to have surgery. they'll be able to fix them. it's going to be okay. >> i didn't tell her how bad it was. even though i knew in the back of my mind that they weren't going to be able to save them. i just kissed the side of her face and just tried -- i tried to relax her. i was just trying to get her to be comfortable because i knew she was in pain. >> i think there's no words to describe it. it's just excruciating. i'm going to cry. i just remember he was -- he was so good. he just tried to keep me calm. as soon as he had the tourniquets on and he had someone -- i think someone was with him putting pressure.
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i just remember it hurt so much, them pressing down on me. but i knew that they had to do it. and then i just remember him like lying down next to me, and he was just touching my hair and just saying, you know, "i'm with you. i got you. it's going to be okay. i'm going to get you out of here." >> and you trusted him? >> absolutely. >> did you think you weren't going to make it? >> i think at first. when i first looked down and the pain and i remember thinking like it's too much. i'm going to die. but then -- and sort of like -- almost like i wanted to. but like, you know, right on the heels of that i was like, hell, no. i can't -- i can't.
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i'm not going to die. i can't. like i won't. i remember, you know, them taking me out of the ambulance and i remember all the emergency room people, everybody frantically doing things, cutting clothing off. i remember feeling my arms and my hands, like pins and needles. everywhere. they just kept telling me that i was doing good and i was doing okay while they were working on me. and i don't know if they had to straighten out my legs. i just know they manipulated my legs and i did scream then and then one doctor i remember came over to me and he had a paper and he said, i need -- we need your permission. you need to sign this to amputate. and i just remember sort of like taking a breath and i looked at him and i'm like, you really have to amputate my legs? and he said, yes, we do.
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so then i was just like, okay. i just knew that the pain had to stop and for the pain to stop they needed to put me under and if they had to take my legs then so be it. >> and then as i got through the fence there, i found sydney. i lingered, you know. something about her struck me. she just had that look on her face. basically, she was helpless. she doesn't know what's going to happen to her.
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>> we were very close to the first bomb. i don't think i'll ever forget it. it was -- it first went off and immediately, like, your ears feel like they just have like plugs in them or something. and it's very faint but you can hear people like screaming. i don't remember going down on the ground but i remember, like, kind of -- i don't know. coming to and seeing everyone around me and then i was getting scared and i knew what happened because so many people were grabbing at my leg. >> i didn't know who she was. i just saw a woman laying on the ground being helped by a man wearing a red t-shirt with his baseball cap backwards. the closer i got with my camera and i was shooting, it was almost like he was whispering to her and he was comforting her. in one frame he was holding her
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head off the ground and he has his right hand on her chest almost checking to see if her heart was beating. i heard people saying, oh, she's hurt. she's really hurt. somebody else was trying to stop her from bleeding to death. >> there were two gentlemen that were assisting sydney, and one of them asked for a tourniquet and kind of just had me take over from what he was doing, so i tied it off and just kept my hands there. >> i could see, like, my leg. like it was open. and it wasn't good. i knew it was bad. >> we got there, and from the bottom of her right knee all the the way up she was open. and the first gentleman was worried about her artery. and we were worried. we just tried not to show it. >> when i was helping her, you know, i kept my hands and tried keeping pressure, but i would
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say to use -- my head was on a swivel, so to say. and this was just so much. there was just so much. and it was -- it was awful. it was awful. >> i would almost have these moments where i'd start to freak out a little and cry and then i'd kind of just like look around again and try to get a better grasp of what was happening, but i'd keep having like those little moments of panic. >> and at one point she -- she was looking straight up and then she lifted her hand and put it on her face as almost like she couldn't take it anymore. but i just remember also the -- how hard these guys were working on her. >> i definitely remember matt first because he was so close. even if he was holding my leg, his face was always there. he asked me, like, do you want me to stay with you? and it was a familiar face from the moment it happened. so i said yes. like yes, i want you to stay
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with me. and i remember him, like, telling me, like to grab his hand and, like, he kept saying, come on, buddy. stay with me. like, keep your eyes open. i remember asking, like, like, what's going on? asking where my parents were. and if they were okay. and i think i was trying to ask, like, what happened to my leg? do i have my leg? >> do you remember how he responded to that? >> he -- he was saying, like, you're okay. you're going to be okay. >> her face was white. her eyes were white. you know? you look at her and you don't know. you honestly don't know. >> my entire body from head to toe was like going to sleep. and it just felt tingly. probably from -- like, as soon as i was on the ground, it started to feel tingly because the blood was leaving me so
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quick. and i started feeling really, really, really, really cold. >> and sydney's just, you know, turning pale. i just remember people saying, where's the emt? we need a stretcher. >> do you remember what you were thinking while you were laying there on the ground? >> i remember thinking, like, if i lost my parents and i really thought, like, i was going to die and i thought, like, i was fading. >> so there was a time where you thought you weren't going to survive this? >> absolutely. and when i was in the ambulance, there was a time when he had to brake, like, incredibly fast and i remember feeling the blood just like come out of my leg and it was warm all over.
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and i thought, like, i'm bleeding out. like, i'm not going to make it to the hospital. >> and she got to the hospital. she was, you know, basically on her last breath with, you know, losing a lot of blood. >> i remember massive amounts of pressure being put on my leg, and it was very painful. at one point when i was finally in the hospital room and the emergency room, and i just remember asking like, when are you guys going to put me out? i just want to go to sleep. like, just put an end to it. >> so tell me when you first learned of sydney's condition and when you first saw her. >> all of the families were in one room, and the vascular surgeon came down and asked for the corcoran family. so we brought us -- he brought us into a separate room. and that's when he described the wounds. and he said that without a doubt she had a mortal wound and if it wasn't attended to when it was
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that she would have died and she was minutes away from bleeding to death. >> when was the first time you saw sydney and could speak to her? >> she still had the breathing tube in her. she realized i was there. and since she couldn't talk, she was actually trying to talk to me, so i asked the nurse in the room for some paper and a pen and i had actually before she started writing stuff down, though, she asked me about mom. i could clearly understand that. so i told her what happened to celeste. and of course sydney -- it was just a single tear just rolls down her face. so then i got the paper, and one of the first things that sydney wrote down was that when she first woke up she thought she was an orphan and that we weren't with her anymore. >> i was terrified that they had both died.
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the images that stuck with me the most are the ones of all the people who thought nothing of themselves to run back into that scene not knowing what was there or if it was even safe to help people, help the victims. i am a freelance photographer, and i am also a staff photographer at tufts university. this was my third straight marathon.
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the finish line of a marathon is a special place. everybody there is in such high spirits because, you know, they just ran a marathon. >> i was with my girlfriend's roommates, and we were having a great time. you know? we were watching the runners. and just that one guy, you know? he didn't look like he was having a good time. he just didn't seem right. he was there and then he was gone and then boom. next thing you know, you know, i hear fireworks and i'm on the ground. >> you know, you hear all this cheering and then a loud boom goes off. and then silence. and then the second one went off, and then it got really loud and chaotic. i knew it was bad when i saw people kicking over gates. i mean, these are the big
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barriers that, you know, the police set up. people were just throwing them down. running onto the course. i had never seen anything like that. >> the first scene i saw there was all these bodies in the ground and missing limbs, broken limbs, people crying. >> once i got up above, i just saw just people everywhere. that's when i realized how bad it was, that you know, i started seeing people with pretty horrific injuries. i recognized carlos orlando immediately because he's very active locally. you know? i saw the hat. >> i went straight down to the ground to help jeff, but
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immediately after that i look at his legs. i asked for help. he had somebody help. >> when he came to help me, he was crazy. his adrenaline was definitely, definitely kicking. >> i pick up jeff from the floor. i pick him up, and i sit him in the chair and i told him to hold on, hold on. and i told the lady, we have to rush. we have to rush. let's move it. let's move it. >> actually, when carlos picked me up and threw me into the wheelchair then i was like, all right, maybe i am going to make it. but before that, no way. i thought i was done. >> as he was pushing jeff out, jeff's lower body was obscured. and then we saw the "herald" photographer standing next to me was -- he just started, you know, screaming, you know, "oh god." he turned. he turned his head. i looked down to make sure he was okay, and then i kept on shooting.
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>> i ended up taking him all the way to the ambulance, which i pick him up again and i put him in the bed. and that's the last time i saw jeff. >> to me there's something inherently powerful about the still image. you know, it's a moment frozen in time. it's that memory that you can hold on to. you know? it doesn't just pass. it's right there for you to see for, you know, forever. >> is there a story behind that photo, do you think? >> yeah. i mean, jeff bauman survived. you know? and then he regained consciousness and pointed out the suspect. and it's just that little glimmer of hope that, you know, this guy made it. thanks to all these other people who rushed to help him. it's proof that, you know, love for your fellow man and
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compassion will win out over evil every time, and so that's helped me process a lot of -- a lot of the stuff that i saw. >> boston is different. that's a big one. everybody wants to do boston. i felt good, and i was going to sprint a little bit right at the end there, and everything was going fine until that big explosion. >> it's the only holiday we're not allowed to take off, so we all work marathon monday. but it was just a peaceful day. it was a beautiful day. and boom. it was like a grand finale of the fourth of july. that loud, last bang that shakes
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your stomach and makes you rattle a little bit. >> so immediately after that first bomb exploded, you kept shooting? >> i kept shooting. i didn't stop. >> i never expected something like that to happen at the finish line, so i was in shock. >> watch out. watch out. >> they didn't know what was going on, but i'm just reacting to what they were experiencing. >> once you heard the second blast, you started realizing this is for real. there's people now all screaming and running in all different directions. >> my mind is trying to digest that, but i'm looking in front of me of the runner bill lifrich who falls to the ground from the explosion. david ryan, the other "globe" photographer, was up on the photo bridge. he's got a longer lens, so he can see way down the race course on boylston street.
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the explosion goes off, and i ran towards bill. i made those photos of bill, and then there was a brief moment where i turned back and i looked at david and i looked up at the photo bridge and i just wanted to make sure he was all right. >> i could feel the force behind me pushing me, and my legs started going just like spaghetti. you know? had no control. i was going down. >> why bill? what drew your lens to him? >> maybe he was the first victim. he's the marathon runner, an old-timer who wants to finish the marathon. it's everybody's dream to finish the marathon. it was just an instant. it was like, you know, a 5,000th of a second that that happened. when i look back at that photo, i just think it tells the story. >> yeah. i'm very lucky. i start getting emotional about it, but yeah. it was pretty close.
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>> and i called my husband, and my husband's a retired sergeant from nypd who was there for september 11. so i called him. i don't even remember. i think i was starting to cry, and i said there's a lot of casualties and i'm fine but just i love you. >> when you have the camera in front of your face, you know, you're invincible and you're shielded from every emotion in the world. it just wasn't that way that day. >> and it was almost like if you took your eye off the camera you would be like oh my god, is this really happening? with the spark miles card from capital one, bjorn earns unlimited rewards for his small business.
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that was my first view of bodies and carnage and legs, you know, blown off. that's when it hit me. that's when i realized that this was, like, the worst thing i've ever seen in my life.
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>> it was a very special day for me. i was with my father, who was running the marathon with me. i was actually feeling a little nervous that morning. i was nervous i was going to let my father down because he had trained so hard. the first 25 miles i was feeling good. i was feeling strong. it was still a challenging race, but i was feeling good. we had run past the sign that says you have one mile to go, and you honestly don't know how you're going to get through that last mile but you know you have to. it's the home stretch. and we heard the bombs go off. >> and i'm literally right on that finish line tape, and i get thrown back a bit by the explosion. >> oh, my god.
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>> i heard people saying, "oh, my god. no. this can't -- no, this can't be true." nobody could get to the victims on the sidewalk. race officials saying, rip this down. rip the fence down. the police, emts and volunteers just rip the fence apart. >> i just knew i had to get there. i knew if something was that bad that i had to be there. to help. and i jumped over the barricade. >> tell me about that barricade. >> so i remember, yeah, my foot hurt so bad and i remember i was thinking i'm going to have to jump. i'm going to have to jump over something to help these people. i remember thinking, i can do it. i can do it. your foot doesn't matter. people are dying. >> so you push through something like that. >> yeah. and i started sprinting as fast as i could towards the finish
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line. i remember running through the crowd. people were running down the street. people were running every which way. policemen were yelling at me trying to get me to stop. i said i'm a physician, please, you have to let me through. and he must have seen the fear, the devastation, the horror in my eyes. whatever it was he saw, he let me through. >> i kept shooting. i didn't stop. i kept shooting. and then it wasn't until i moved up closer to the railing and the fence that i actually saw what had happened. it was probably 15 bodies just kind of like leaning on each other in one area. you know? people helpless. just looking up. >> i just went to the people i saw. quickly running as fast as i could to the people i saw. and thinking, oh my god. there's another one.
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oh my god, there's another one. >> people were smoking. their bodies were smoking. you know? their faces were charred. their clothes were ripped. and, you know, nicole gross, one of the victims from charlotte, north carolina, she's sitting on the ground. she tried to get up but she couldn't get up and her legs are all, you know, torn up with shrapnel, and she had that look on her face in shock and disbelief. >> tell me what you see when you look at that photo. >> i see what i felt that day. i see the pain. and i see the fear. it brings back the smell. and the taste. of the smoke. and the smell of the blood. i saw so much blood.
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you know if you're smelling it and you know if you're seeing that much something truly horrible has happened. >> who was the first victim that you reached? >> there was a crowd of people at what is now known as the second bombing site, and they were gathered around a woman. there were a lot of people helping. we were -- we were packing her legs with towels, and we were doing cpr. she had such bad injuries to her legs. >> gaping wounds? >> yeah. gaping wounds to her legs. we got her in an ambulance. all i can say is we tried our best. we really did. >> one of the most gruesome things was, you know, a horrific
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image that i still deal with is one of the women who died and there was a boston police officer who leaned over and she's putting both fingers on her throat to check her pulse. and, you know, it's just her leg was ripped off. and i can't -- i can't look at that picture. it's just so -- it's so difficult. and it was almost like if you took your eye off the camera you would be like, oh my god, is this really happening? i think it was important for me to just keep photographing it, document it for the world to see. i mean, i think the world needed to see the horror of this terrorism attack. >> as soon as that spark went off, that's when i hit the ground, covered my head and took cover. >> 111, 111 control.
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i have never fully felt the power of a photograph up until the last ten days. all the pictures i took and the few that i've shared have been incredibly helpful in understanding what transpired outside of our house. i was just on my computer watching a hockey game. >> something outside caught your attention. >> it was a loud noise, like a pop noise. i immediately got up and went to the window because i didn't know whether it was gunfire or not. and being in watertown, on laurel street, gunfire is the last thing that i would ever think is happening outside my house. >> we're in the area, laurel. in the area here. the suspect is in the area.
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>> the two brothers stopped, got out of the vehicle, and immediately started shooting at my officer. >> i see two people behind a black suv that are engaging in gunfire. i immediately ran upstairs to my bedroom. as soon as i got to my room, i actually jumped on my bed, went up against my window and started taking pictures with my cell phone. i was crouched, and i was kind of in a position trying to stay somewhat below the window thinking that that would give me some type of cover. >> one of them goes and pops the trunk of one of the vehicles. >> i could see a kind of a small metal, silver metal tin, circular tin at their feet and i knew what that was. >> that was the pressure cooker? >> yep. moments later, i saw them light it. it actually sparked kind of like a fuse, and as soon as that spark went off, that's when i hit the ground, covered my head
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and took cover. >> then there's a tremendous explosion. >> 111, 111 control. we have reports that they have explosives here at the scene. there are explosives here at the scene. >> and now they're throwing bombs at my officers while they're also shooting at them. >> the explosions which happened not 30, 40 feet from my house, could absolutely feel them from my bedroom. >> we found the pressure cooker lid embedded into a car further down the street there. >> it had filled the street with smoke. as i looked out the window and saw the smoke kind of dissipate, i saw one of the suspects running towards the officers. and he actually got fairly close to them, within at least 15, 20 yards. >> and they're literally about
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ten feet away from each other exchanging gunfire. >> it's definitely hand hand grenades and automatic gunfire. >> one of my officers was able to tackle him and put him to the ground. >> and as that happened, then i looked back at the suv and that's when i could see the second suspect getting back into the suv and -- >> comes, starts roaring down the street. and then he dove out of the way as he came roaring through and ran over his brother. >> there's actually still a marking on the street of where he was. >> and you watched him just plow through those police cars? >> yeah. that's the thing i could see clearest from my window, is the suv barrelling down the street and just going right in between the police vehicles, kind of sideswiping a couple of them. this is actually the blast mark from the pressure cooker bomb. and it's rained quite a few times since the night of the shooting.
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and it's still a very clear mark on the street. >> they were intent on killing more people. and it was here in watertown on the back street where seven of my officers that stopped them. >> were you at all concerned that you were going to die that night? >> a few minutes after the shooters were off our street, and i saw a bullet hole in my roommate's wall and through his computer desk chair, i very quickly realized the true severity of what had happened and the harm that could have been done here. >> there was a very tense situation, and he is very intimidating with the gloves and the guns and the glasses on and the earpiece. and then he has two gallons of milk.
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what do you see when you look at that photo? >> an officer that definitely went above and beyond to help a family out on a day that they couldn't help themselves.
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>> we obviously watched the news all night. were discharged from the car at the police officers. >> we knew that one guy was on the run. >> there's an active search going on at this point in time. >> is he in somebody's basement? is he in a garage? that's when it started to sink in that, oh my god, i can't believe they didn't catch him. >> there is an active incident in watertown right now. >> what was it like to be on lockdown? >> it was just kind of scary to know that you were locked in your own house. >> advising all watertown eastern residents to remain in their homes. >> definitely not a situation you ever, ever think you would be in, especially in watertown because it's just a safe, happy little town. >> so tell me a little bit about holden. >> he is -- he's great. he wakes up probably 6:00 in the morning, and first thing he says is "cheerio, dada, cheerio" and and i have to get him his little bowl of cheerios. and he said "momo."
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and that's more milk is what he wants. >> what on earth do you do trapped in a house with a toddler all day? >> well, we kept him occupied with books, snacks. >> the whole day he was bringing his coat by, "outside. outside." no. we'll go out to the sun porch. we'll play out there. >> i was making mac and cheese for lunch because that's what we had. and it called for 1/3 cup of milk. i saw there was very little left in his cup and very little left in the gallon. so i was like, oh, this is not good. and my mom was like we should go ask the cop. so she walked down the stairs and went outside and the officer came running down and she said, i have a 17-month-old grandson and we're out of milk. is there any way we can get some? he's like, the baby needs milk, i'll go get it. >> we were on the sun porch with holden playing outside. momo. i think he knew. then i see the officer walking down the hill with the two gallons of milk. i went down and thanked him a lot and said let me get you some money for that.
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he said don't worry about it. he wouldn't even take any money. i mean, you're on lockdown, and police are in the back yard. police are in the front yard. i didn't think anybody would believe me if i told the story. and i took that picture and i posted it on facebook. >> when you look at that picture, what do you see on his face? >> i see that he's got a lot on his mind. >> if you hear or see anything suspicious, call the watertown police department. >> looking back on it, it was a very tense situation and he is very intimidating with the gloves and the guns and the glasses on and the earpiece, and then he has two gallons of milk like you know, you got some other things on your mind? >> did you think your photo would go viral the way it did? >> no. i've never -- i probably -- and i joke with my wife. i've probably posted on facebook myself maybe four times in my entire life. >> i woke up and had messages from all sorts of people and texts saying so and so is sharing your picture and they don't even know you.
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>> does it surprise you that officer bradley doesn't want to be on camera? >> no. it's the same reason why he didn't take the money. it seems like this wasn't the first time that he's done something like this. so to him this is not a big deal. and you know, he was just doing his job in his mind. but it ways big deal for us and it was a big deal for a lot of people who saw that picture. >> celeste and sydney are on the mend. and john temecki has met them for the first time. >> i don't know how you guys -- to be so strong the way you are. it's so inspirational. >> jeff bauman reemerged boston strong. bill iffrig is still running. > i'm not going to quit doing anything. >> natalie stavas and andrew kitzenberg are back to business. and holden wells, he has plenty
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of milk. [ speaking foreign language ] ♪ ♪ i took a walk ♪ through this beautiful world